Dear Mr. Kruse,
Thank you for your email concerning the recent cuts to government programs such as PromArt and Trade Routes. I have shared your concerns with Mr. Dewar and he asked that I send you a copy of the letter he sent Minister Emerson, concerning the cuts. I have pasted it below for your convenience. Thank you again for writing and sharing your thoughts on this issue, please do not hesitate to contact us again in the future.
August 12, 2008
Hon. David Emerson
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Dear Minister Emerson,
I am writing to you today to express my concern regarding recent funding cuts to the PromArt and the Trade Routes programs. Both PromArt and Trade Routes have allowed groups and individuals to travel the world and promote not only their unique abilities but also our country as a whole. Cutting the funds to these two programs not only limits what Canada has to offer the world, but limits what we offer to our own citizens. This will eventually lead to more Canadian artists leaving the country in search of better opportunities elsewhere.
I have a number of questions concerning the manner in which this decision was made by your office:
1) What review took place prior to this decision being made?
2) What criteria were used to make this decision?
3) Who was consulted when this decision was being made? Were our missions overseas consulted prior to the decision being made?
4) How many Canadian artists will be affected by this decision?
What is at stake here is the future of our Canadian musicians, artists and entrepreneurs in the arts and cultural sectors. With fewer opportunities to promote Canadian culture, the industry will continue to weaken and our place on the world arts stage will diminish.
We should be proud to support our Canadian exports and not limit their freedom of expression through art.
I respectfully urge you to reconsider this decision. I look forward to your reply.
Paul Dewar, MP | Député Ottawa Centre
NDP Foreign Affairs Critic
Porte-parole du NPD pour les affaires étrangères
519 Confederation Building
Tel: 613.996.5322 www.pauldewar.ca